What music lover has never cursed the designers of in-ear headphones, which always seem to give out in the middle of a great track? For the hardworking musicians and producers of Nashville, Tenn., flimsy and unreliable earbuds aren’t just an inconvenience, they’re a professional pitfall. That’s why local boutique firm Aurisonics developed its hardy Rockets model ($249 to $299).
Andy Rowley, Aurisonics’ VP of operations, recalls the team asking: “What if we could make this indestructible?” That quest led to a made-in-Nashville product fashioned from a titanium casing and cables made of woven aramid (similar to Kevlar). Rockets can survive being pulled hard and being stomped on, and they’re waterproof, too: Drop them in water and they’ll keep pumping out the tunes. Even the rubber tabs that fit into your ears feel stickier than the usual—so the earbuds are less prone to falling out and getting lost. “Musicians are careless creatures,” Rowley says. Yet he knows of one creature that has managed to wreck a pair of Rockets, admitting: “We didn’t quite make them dog-proof.”